The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 186 convicted criminal illegal immigrants last week in the Bay Area and Northern California — including 23 people in Alameda County — as part of a seven-day nationwide enforcement campaign, according to Bay City News.
The operation, dubbed “Cross Check,” led to the arrest of more than 2,900 immigrants across the country with criminal records and involved more than 1,900 ICE officers, according to a Wednesday press release from the agency.The arrests, which occurred in all 50 states and four U.S. territories, included criminal fugitives and people who illegally re-entered the country after having been previously deported.Of the immigrants arrested in Northern California, 126 were convicted of serious felonies including aggravated assault, child abuse and drug trafficking while five were documented gang members and 32 were immigration fugitives, according to Bay City News.
“These are not people who are making a positive contribution to their communities,” said ICE Director John Morton in an interview with The New York Times Wednesday. “They are not the kind of people we want walking our streets.”
The majority of the Northern California arrests were made in Santa Clara County, where 35 immigrants with criminal records were taken into custody, according to Bay City News.
All Northern California counties participated in the operation with the exception of San Francisco County, whose sheriff announced in June that he would not fulfill ICE’s requests to detain undocumented immigrants suspected of low-level misdemeanors because the requests are not legally binding warrants.
The seven-day undertaking was the largest enforcement and removal operation in the program’s history, the agency said.
The first nationwide operation occurred this May, when ICE arrested more than 2,400 undocumented immigrants with prior criminal convictions.
As of June, ICE had removed more than 109,700 criminal illegal immigrants from the country during the 2011 fiscal year, including more than 585 criminal illegal immigrants convicted of homicide and more than 3,177 convicted sex offenders.